Strikes latest: 'I'm a university lecturer on less than £13k a year' - workers tell their stories (2023)

Key points
  • 500,000 people walk out including teachers, rail workers and civil servants - who is striking today?
  • 'We are the working class, and we are back': Union leader's rallying cry
  • Less than half of schools fully open today
  • Strikes cost UK economy £68m in one day
  • People's stories:'I'm a university lecturer on less than £13k a year' |'I could make more £s on this pole'| 'One pay cheque away from homelessness'
  • Rising support for unions despite widespread strikes, poll finds
  • Live reporting by Lucia Bindingand Faith Ridler


That's all for our live strikes coverage

Thanks for following along with Sky News on the busiest strike day for more than a decade in the UK.

At least half a million people walked out on Wednesday, with teachers, rail workers and civil servants involved.

We'll be back shortly with more cost of living news.


2% pay offer to civil servants a 'slap in the face'

The government's 2% pay offer to civil servants has been described as a "slap in the face" by a worker for the police watchdog.

Speaking anonymously, the Independent Office for Police Conduct civil servant said: "It is important for all of us to support those on the lowest salaries.

"If you had said 12 years ago that we would be in this state, no-one would have believed you.

"This (2% offer) has been the straw that broke the camel's back.

"If you work for a smaller agency, or one which is less visible to the public, it is easier to offer miserly pay rises than if you are slightly more public-facing like a nurse or a train driver.

(Video) Boris Johnson Speaks On Putin's Missile Threat, Russia-Ukraine Blame Game +More |Russian Invasion

"Two per cent is just a slap in the face."

Meanwhile, a 34-year-old who works for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said it was clear the government thought they would "just take" the pay rise.

He said: "We got the lowest pay rise in the public sector because they thought they could just do this to us and we would just take it.

"I believe more people will come out. So many people who had not been part of unions before and had not been striking before are stepping out and being open about striking."

Civil servants make up thousands of the half a million people on strike today, alongside large numbers of teachers and rail workers.


Mick Lynch: 'We are the working class, and we are back'

Mick Lynch has told teachers "we are the working class, and we are back" during an NEU rally in Westminster today.

The RMT general secretary addressed thousands of striking teachers gathered outside Downing Street.

"Welcome to Westminster, the house of fools and the house of the corrupt," he said.

"Last year, Grant Shapps, remember him? He's still around. Lurking around all of these buildings here, running the government, telling Rishi Sunak what to do, trying to ban the working class."

He added that his message then is the same as it is today: every worker needs a pay rise, every worker needs a square deal.

"And our message is sod this, we demand, and we are united. We will not be divided on the basis of who we work for. We will not be divided on the basis of our belief, or the colour of our skin, or the part of the country we are from.

"We are the working class, and we are back. We are here, we are demanding change, we refuse to be bought, and we are going to win for our people on our terms."


(Video) Marxist Economist Richard Wolff on How the Debt Ceiling Benefits the Rich & Powerful

43% of schools open in England on strike day, says DfE

Less than half of schools in England were fully open as teachers walked out on strike on Wednesday, data from the Department for Education has shown.

The government said it had received attendance data from 16,400 state-funded schools in England. This is around 77% of the total number.

Of these, the Department for Education said:

  • 43.9% were estimated to be fully open;
  • 42.8% were open but with restricted attendance;
  • 8.9% were closed;
  • The status of 4.4% was unknown.


South Western Railway says disruption due to drivers 'not crossing picket lines'

South Western Railway has told passengers it intended to run a full service on its mainline network today, but there was disruption due to drivers not crossing picket lines.

The operator said: "While our drivers are not on strike, some drivers are refusing to cross picket lines in support of our depot drivers who are taking industrial action today."

It added there may be "short notice cancellations, delays and alterations to services on all routes".

Analysis of train performance website showed 7.6% of services were either cancelled or more than half an hour late up to 2pm on Wednesday.

The figure for the entire day on Tuesday was 0.4%.


Sadiq Khan: 'The government has consistently let you down'

The National Education Union has thanked London Mayor Sadiq Khan for his "strong support" for its strikes and its members.

Mr Khan, a member of the Labour Party, said he recognises that its members have been "forced to stand up for yourselves and your pupils because this government has consistently let you down".

He adds that there is "no disputing you're overworded and underpaid", and that it's "wrong that our children are paying the price for more than a decade of Tory failure and incompetence".

You can read his message of support in full below...

(Video) That BACKFIRED. 💀 #shorts


Parents and children affected by teachers' strikes

Our correspondent Matt Thompson was outside the London Enterprise Academy in the east of the capital today as thousands of teachers walked out.

One woman told him that the industrial action has clearly affected both parents and children.

She said: "I think its affected parents and the children as well. The parents are working, so its hard to find someone on that day to look after their children for a certain time.

"As a parent, I think teachers should get paid more because they are really doing very hard work and a noble job for us."


Government needs to 'step up with concrete proposals' - union leaders

(Video) Explained | Why Women Are Paid Less | FULL EPISODE | Netflix

The education secretary must "step up with concrete and meaningful proposals" on teachers' pay to prevent further strikes, union leaders have said.

The National Education Union (NEU) estimated that around 85% of schools in England and Wales would be affected by teacher walkouts today.

Dr Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, joint general secretaries of the NEU, said: "This is no cause for celebration, but an indication of the level of anger among our members.

"It is a huge statement from a determined membership who smashed through the government's thresholds that were only ever designed to prevent strike action happening at all.

"Today, we put the Education Secretary on notice. She has until our next strike day for England, February 28, to change her stance."

The union leaders warned: "However, be in no doubt that our members will do whatever it takes to stand up for education, including further strike action, if Gillian Keegan still fails to step up with concrete and meaningful proposals."


How do you end the strikes?

Today will go down as the biggest day of industrial action in a decade as half a million workers strike in bitter disputes over pay, jobs and conditions.

Teachers, train drivers, civil servants, university lecturers, bus drivers and security guards are all involved in the disputes. The government is continuing to push through its contentious plans for a new law on minimum service levels during strikes.

On the Sky News Daily, Niall Paterson is joined by business correspondent Paul Kelso to look at the economic impact of the action - and political correspondent Ali Fortescue explores the pressure it's putting on the government.

Have a listen...

Click to subscribe to the Sky News Daily wherever you get your podcasts


(Video) Kid MAKES TEACHER Quit Job, What Happens Is Shocking | Dhar Mann

Another busy month of strikes - here's your calendar


1. CBC News: The National | Ontario education workers, Amoxycillin shortage, U.S. midterms
(CBC News: The National)
2. CBC News: The National | Hockey Canada, Rebuilding after Fiona, Workers vs bosses
(CBC News: The National)
3. Massive ice storm blasting the South with freezing rain
(NBC News)
4. CBC News: The National | California shooting, Israel protests, Rupi Kaur
(CBC News: The National)
5. 6-year-old shoots teacher; Crump sues DeSantis; Carmichael Globes fallout | #TheCulture
(Roland S. Martin)
6. Powell Speaks | Bloomberg Surveillance 11/30/2022
(Bloomberg Markets and Finance)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Twana Towne Ret

Last Updated: 11/29/2022

Views: 6126

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (44 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Twana Towne Ret

Birthday: 1994-03-19

Address: Apt. 990 97439 Corwin Motorway, Port Eliseoburgh, NM 99144-2618

Phone: +5958753152963

Job: National Specialist

Hobby: Kayaking, Photography, Skydiving, Embroidery, Leather crafting, Orienteering, Cooking

Introduction: My name is Twana Towne Ret, I am a famous, talented, joyous, perfect, powerful, inquisitive, lovely person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.